10 MARCH 1906, Page 15


SIR,—In a letter on the danger of secularisation contributed to your issue of February 17th, Mr. P. D. Thomas speaks of" an effect on the average teacher himself, which is perhaps over- looked." It is indeed surprising that in regard to aquestion which so vitally concerns tho teacher we find him rarely taken into consideration. Surely it is of some importance to ascertain whether he would consent to teach at all if debarred the Bible in school, not only as literature, but also as a rule of life. Speaking as a teacher, though not an elementary teacher, of more than forty years' standing, I should say that many men would refuse, thus handicapped, to enter on a career the highest aim of which is the education of the conscience and the training of character. Writing of such a man under date March 30th, 1870, Mrs. W. E. Forster, wife of the statesman who preceded Mr. Birrell by thirty-six years, says :—

" You may well believe that it has been a great happiness to

me to see my husband refusing to compel the severance

of education from the religious work and religious spirit of the country. I am sure that such a case as that of your schoolmaster is not a rare one, and that a secular system would not only banish such men from our schools to more congenial work, but would also, as Bishop Temple lately said, deprive the ordinary and less devoted master of that portion of his work which most improves and elevates himself, and from which he learns while he is teaching."